The first unofficial week of summer was full of mystery, intrigue, and women going undercover to do amazing things. Let’s play a little “I Spy” and look back at the covert stories that slipped into the news this week.
A movie star in Iran sparked a hullabaloo with a mystery tattoo during a press conference for a new film she’s starring in. When Taraneh Alidoosti reached to adjust a microphone, her sleeve rode up exposing about half of her forearm. Peeking out was an apparent tattoo that looks a lot like the famed “woman power” symbol. In no time a full-blown controversy was underway, with hardline conservatives accusing Alidoosti of being against family values and supporting abortion rights. Alidoosti took to Twitter to confirm that “YES, I’m a feminist” — a bold declaration in Iran — but didn’t confirm what everyone wanted to know: the existence of the tattoo and its meaning. Maybe she’s waiting for the right time to tell her parents about the ink, and now that conversation will be a whole lot more awkward.
As a campaign gathers momentum to enlist an actress to portray the legendary movie spy Bond … Jane Bond … in the film franchise’s next installment, a woman could also take over behind the camera. Susanne Bier, a movie director from Denmark, is reportedly on the shortlist to direct the next spy thriller. A woman playing Bond and a woman directing a Bond film: That scenario would leave the iconic franchise shaken, not stirred — something 007 would have to approve of.
Decades ago, Stephanie Rader would travel the countryside in Poland. To those who saw her, she was the unassuming wife of a U.S. military man. What no one knew is that Rader was a spy, keeping tabs for the precursor to the CIA on the Russians’ every move. Her espionage work was so on-point that she was recommended for the Legion of Merit award in 1946. But she never got it. Over the last eight years, a campaign to have the honor finally awarded to her ensued. A U.S. senator intervened on her behalf, but, sadly, Rader died at age 100 without having received the award. On Wednesday, the Army posthumously (and finally) honored Rader with the Legion of Merit and a military funeral at Arlington National Cemetery. We look forward to the day when amazing women who sacrificed for the country get their honors from the military while they’re still alive to appreciate it.
A 22-year-old Trekkie and astronomy student spied four previously undiscovered planets while analyzing data collected by NASA’s Kepler telescope. Michelle Kunimoto, a senior at the University of British Columbia, was reviewing data that veteran scientists had already looked at and discovered they’d missed something — well four somethings — in galaxies far, far away. Two of the planets she found are Earth-sized and another is a giant, about the size of Neptune. Kunimoto describes the planet as a “warm Neptune,” because its climate might make it habitable for life. Speaking of warm, her attention to detail gives us a warm feeling inside. Live long and prosper, Michelle.